Monday, 13 February 2012

My big fat veggie cottage pie recipe...

What we need to warm up our little cockles during this oncoming freeze are some satisfying and tasty recipes to fill up the whole family.  This recipe is not about MasterChef standard food, it’s about hearty and delicious vegetarian home cooking.  As much as my children love Asian cooking, they also hanker for traditional British style food and I think it’s time to share some of our favourites.  First up….

Recipe for my big fat veggie cottage pie:

2 large carrots, diced
2 leeks, slices & washed
2 large onions, diced
1 stick of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 large field mushrooms, diced (or whichever mushrooms you prefer)
450g vegetarian mince
You can use soya, quorn or even tofu mince (a new product from Cauldron Foods).  You could also omit any vegetarian mince and use several different kinds of mushroom or use puy lentils instead, to keep the dish vegan.  Make sure you cook the lentils for at least an hour from the end of step 3, and add plenty more water as it reduces.  I would also add a little more seasoning if using puy lentils.
1 large cup of frozen peas
Dark soy sauce, 1-2 tbsp
Vegetable stock, 1.5pt, good quality vegetable bouillion works best
1 tsp marmite
Sprigs of fresh thyme & rosemary – rub between fingers first to release flavour or chop
2 bay leaves
Black pepper, white pepper & sea salt
Maris piper potatoes
Knob of butter or margarine
50g grated cheese (optional but mature cheddar works best)
1 large tomato, sliced
Red cabbage (optional)

  1. Peel and boil potatoes for mash.  Once soft, leave to drain for five minutes then mash with butter, a splash of milk or cream, and season with salt and white pepper.
  2. Saut√© onions until start to soften then add remaining vegetables, apart from mushrooms.  Once vegetables start to soften add mushrooms and vegetarian mince (if using) and cook for further 2 to 3 minutes. 
  3. Add stock, soy, marmite, fresh herbs and bay leaves.  Bring to simmer, add salt and pepper to taste and simmer to reduce slightly. (If using puy lentils, add more stock and cook for further hour). Add large cup of frozen peas.
  4. Layer mixture in a large deep over proof dish.  Aim for at least 2 inch depth of mixture at bottom, then layer creamy potato over top.  Lay tomato slices over top of potato and sprinkle with cheese if using.
  5. Bake at 190 C until bubbling and top is golden and crispy. 
  6. Serve with sauted red cabbage.  Finely slice & wash cabbage and add to pan with splash of olive oil, splash of balsamic vinegar and a little salt & pepper.  Cook on a high heat for 4-5 mins keeping the lid on pan so the cabbage slightly frys and slightly steams at the same time.


  1. Why if you're so keen on promoting vegetarianism were you eating fish on Masterchef??

    1. Yeah why jackie? :p

    2. I suggest you read previous blog post if u really are interested in the answer....

  2. Good recipe, thank you. I used a mixture of lentils and vege mince - very tasty!

  3. What quantity of maris piper potatoes is required for this recipe?

  4. Also, how long does it roughly take to bake to bubbling? Thanks.

  5. I use about 6-8 large potatoes, and generally the dish takes about 50 mins to bubble

  6. Jackie kearney thanks for share such a nice information here. I love all the yummy foods